Cycle Chicago, Sightseeing Ride, Greene Valley Forest Preserve
This trail begins in Woodridge and goes through the 1,414-acre Greene Valley Forest Preserve, with an optional extension along suburban streets. Biking through this serene forest preserve is so pleasant that it will inspire you to visit all of Chicagoland’s many other preserves. Here you’ll find woodlands, prairies, wetlands and a winding stream. You’ll also see the second highest point in DuPage County and an old farmhouse. This trail is not as busy as many other forest preserve trails, so don’t miss out.
Crushed limestone path over flat terrain with a couple of gentle inclines.
Half a dozen road crossings within the forest preserve, and more than a dozen additional road crossings if you take the 10-mile extension at 7.3 miles to the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.
The preserve is not convenient to transit. By car, exit Interstate 88 at Route 53 going south. Turn west on Hobson Road and then south on Greene Road. The entrance is about 1,000 feet on the left.
Food and Drink
Only water in the preserve, but plenty of fast food restaurants along the ride to Waterfall Glen from 7.3 miles to 17.3 miles.
Check out the scenic overview from Greene Valley Hill in the preserve.
In 1835, William Greene settled down in what is now part of the Greene Valley Forest Preserve. His home, the 1841 Oak Cottage, still stands on the northwest corner of the preserve and makes a good starting point for this ride. With more than 540 native plant species, this preserve is one of the most botanically diverse places in DuPage County. The ride goes through stands of oak, shrubby savannas, marshes and open grasslands.
A number of times it crosses Anderson Creek, which flows into the East Branch of the DuPage River. Most of the ride is exposed to the sun but there are many refreshing albeit short interludes of shade. Picnic areas abound, as do intersections with dirt and mowedgrass mountain bike trails. Note, however, that this preserve does not have trail signs at intersections to keep you on the right path. Early into the ride, there’s a huge dog park on the left. It’s over half a mile long and usually full of happily frolicking dogs. (Alas, your dog must have a permit to play.) A little farther into the ride, a big hill looms.
This former landfill was closed in 1996 and is now planted with native grasses and shrubs intended to attract some of the 370 native animals that call the area home. At 980 feet, the hill is the second highest point in the county. A scenic overlook at the top affords views of the DuPage River Valley and even Chicago in the distance. Nevertheless, this ride does not include the overlook because the hill is open only 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends from May through October. At the eastern end of the Greene Valley Forest Preserve you can turn around or continue on suburban bike paths five miles to the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.
Although this extension through Woodridge and Lemont parallels major roads, it demonstrates how safe and pleasant suburban bike paths can be. Many such suburban paths are smooth, well maintained and even picturesque. They allow you to extend rides, access other parks and discover new routes for getting around. Yes, you’ll encounter traffic and traffic lights but also fragrant flowers and handsome homes. If you have the time and energy, give this extension a try and see if you agree.
31.154 km / 19.358 mi
190 m / 623 ft
190 m / 625 ft
236 m / 773 ft